March 2010

Sunday in Toulon, France

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We were able to attend church in Toulon and Zach was even recognized… after an absence of 14 years. This guy immediately recognized him and even recounted some stories about Halloween and pizza making. He then went and got the missionary book to find Zach’s entry.

How amazing is that?
After church we visited a town called Bormes-les-Mimosas. This town was to die for. Tiny streets with mostly foot traffic. Beyond the beauty of the secluded corners and the charming “Venelle des Amoureux” this is the heart of the Mimosas festival. I love that in Europe the seasons and plants are celebrated. An entire festival for a flowering tree? When we returned to California I swear we saw Mimosas on the hillsides of So. Cal. Here they are nothing. The blossoms not treasured, or even noticed. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them all my life and never thought twice about them. Humm.
Here are a few images from B. Mimosas.

View from the ruins.

The girls running.

Some of these are a bit blurry, that come with evening shooting using a point and shoot. The color and texture of the stone caught my eye.


My cute niece. Don’t judge the focus… point and shoot. Kicking myself that I left the SLR behind that day. So frustrating.

Such a beautiful mimosa tree.

Did I mention it was Valentines Day? Thank goodness we had some evidence of romance on this trip. With 6 kids, there wasn’t much smooching going on.

Disneyland Vacation

Just before heading to France Zach had a conference at the happiest place on earth… yup, Disneyland! We went last year while I was pregnant with Zed and had a blast. Such a wonderful place, every worker nice and helpful. No issues or problems and hardly any lines the entire day! It helped that it rained everywhere but Anaheim.

This year we did catch rain, and quite a bit of it. But we still had a great time and the babe and I could go on almost everything. Just the 3 kids and me and it worked great. I used the Moby Wrap and didn’t have to take Zed out except for the Rodger Rabbit ride… which I don’t suggest. Bleh.

The kids went on the roller coasters with Zach that night. He was able to get an evening ticket from the Hotel (they only offer them to conference attendees). When we returned to California we went to Legoland. The rides weren’t as impressive or baby friendly. India thought it was way cooler than Disneyland but she’s a Lego fanatic.

India was chosen to be a Padawan. Ezra was heartbroken. Luckily he cheered up enough to watch India fight Darth Vader. I think it helped that Darth Maul was so close to us. He was super intense and looked exactlt like the character in the movie; yellow contacts and everything. We met Peter Pan and the Fairies and Mickey.

One of the favorites, Small World. I think Zed really liked it too.

Our Room with a View

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This was our room and the staircase and views throughout the house we stayed in on our trip. We stayed with Zach’s brother and his family. He, his wife and 5 kids lived in this 1500 sq ft row house for their 3 month stay in Toulon, France. The house was filled to the gills, 4 adults and 6 kids. But we had our own room and I don’t think we stepped on too many toes. They were probably happy to have their couch space back (it’s tough to share a love seat with all those people) and have more hot water for showers. Thank you so much for putting us up. We had so much fun with you all!
Since our return, my wanderlust has doubled. Once home I received an email from my Slow Food convivia (local group) describing school lunch in France. Here’s a quote from the article:
“no single meal is repeated over the 32 school days in the period, and every meal includes an hors d’oeuvre, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert.”
Seeing as I have had many discussions with parents, teachers and principal about the length of lunchtime (I think the kids get 15 minutes to eat… if they line up quickly enough to enter the cafeteria). Not to mention the “food” served to the kids. You must read the article to get the full view of the huge deficit our kids have in their food education. In the US, food education seems to come mainly from TV commercials. It’s no wonder kids think the best food is fast food, sugar cereal and yogurt so hopped up with sugar and additives/chemicals it really isn’t food anymore.
Thankfully I’m not the only parent at our school questioning the ethics of school lunches. Hopefully we can build a force to be reckoned with and make some major changes.
Food-in anyone?

Our Time with Family

We spent a few days with family and the camera came out on one of those days. I only wish I had captured each family member with Zed. That just means we need some family members to visit here in CO.
We had a birthday meal for my mom. The kids had a blast with Aunt Teri’s gifts. Blowing bubbles that could stay intact in their hands and made a huge mess. How could they not love that?
Zed got a turn with each of his Aunts and Uncle. He even ate with Dean.

Aunt Teri has the best hair and jewelry… so much fun to play with.

Then more time outside as the sun set.

Teri, Dean, my kids and I headed to HB after this. Teri’s place is always fun. We hung for a bit, then off to the beach to see what we could get into. Of course Ezra wanted to get into the water. Too, too cold. But we found all sorts of things to do while avoiding the cold ocean. India and Teri were digging for sand crabs… none to be found 🙁 While Ezra found all sorts of sticks and treasures washed up from the recent storms.

Then Teri got a hold of the camera. After figuring out how to focus the thing she did some amazing things! Here’s proof: some awesome pics of me and the kids. What a treat!

Mother’s Day Portrait Party

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Once, many years ago on Mother’s Day, I assisted a few photographers who took an afternoon to photograph several families using an 8×10″ camera. Each family paid around $50 and received one 8×10″ Polaroid. They could choose either b&w or color and I helped the photographers make chocolate (taking the B&W Polaroid neg and sandwiching it with the Polaroid Color positive). Something I learned from my friend Christina who interned at the Polaroid studio in NYC. A pretty special and unique print.
Ever since working that Mother’s Day portrait event I have wanted to do something similar. Mother’s Day is a special day and a portrait of mom’s little ones would be a perfect gift. I know this post is 2 months too early, but it’s never too soon to plan for the most important woman in you life, right? Besides, this is an awesome deal and I’m sure many will take advantage of this opportunity.

If you were wondering, I would love a fancy new camera bag (like this) for Mother’s Day, or a new fixed wide angle lens, and the latest “Healthy Bread in 5 minutes” book (which I just bought yesterday, sorry).